A College Girl
Here is a book about the young girl and her awakening to the world by this talented author. Darsie, the heroine, is selected by an old aunt to come and spend a year or so as her companion. The old woman tries to coach Darsie in matters of deportment and behaviour. This would be pretty odious if it were not for the presence locally of a young family of boys and girls of Darsie's age, whom, being rich and living rather grandly, the aunt allows Darsie to know. The first half of the book describes the times they had. The old aunt promises Darsie that she will make available the funds needed for Darsie to go up to Cambridge as a student at Newnham, a girls' college.
When the second half of the book begins the old aunt has just died, and Darsie feels glad that the poor old lady will be relieved of all her pains. The years of studentship are well described, and the friends that Darsie made come and go through the story. Finally we reach the last exams. Darsie does quite well, but is not in the First Class. She has a Second, which will be enough for her to be able to go and teach at some less distinguished school. But her friend Dan, one of those whom we met in the first half of the book, has obtained a First Class Honours degree, and the book ends with him asking her to marry him. What he doesn't know, and I suppose the author didn't either, is that young men going to teach at a top-rate boys' school are expected to spend their spare time coaching sports, and not to be married. In fact they would be better to have achieved a "Blue" at Oxford or Cambridge than a good degree.
I have had to make a slightly strange and annoying change to the name of one of the girls in the story. I changed Vi Vernon to Vie Vernon. The reason was that otherwise the speech generator always read her name as “Six Vernon”. What we have now sounds correct, but if you read the book you will see this mis-spelling two dozen times. My apologies for doing this, but you will understand why I did it.
It is a good read, and as always I recommend making an audiobook of it, so that you can listen to it. NH.
Jessie Bell (Mrs. Henry Mansergh, Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey), 1857-1917.
Jessie Bell, later Mrs. Henry Mansergh, and then Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey, was born in Liverpool, in 1857, into a family of seven children--she had four brothers and two sisters. In 1883, she married Henry Mansergh. Their only daughter, Gwyneth Alice, was born in 1886. The Manserghs moved several times, but always remained in the vicinity of Liverpool. Henry Mansergh seems to have been either an alcoholic or addicted to drugs. In either case, he died of kidney disease in May, 1894.
At about the time of her first husband's death, her short stories began to appear in magazines in 1894. Her daughter, Gwyneth, then about twelve, found an unpublished manuscript of her mother's in a drawer and sent it in to a short story competition. Jessie won the contest, whose prize was a Mediterranean cruise. Jessie met George de Horne Vaizey on that cruise. She married him in 1898 and they moved to Broxbourne in Hertfordshire. Their son, George de Horne Vaizey the younger, who was later to become a writer himself, was born in 1900.
Early in the century, she contracted typhoid, and then developed rheumatoid arthritis. The latter condition left her permanently crippled, in a wheelchair, for the rest of her life. In spite of her affliction, she continued to write. She died in Hampstead after an operation for appendicitis.
Jessie wrote thirty-three books, and many short stories and magazine articles. She often used her own varied experiences in her books. She used situations from her early life in a large family, her first husband's addiction and death, and her own illnesses in her novels.
A PDF of scans and an HTML version of this book are provided. We also provide a plain TEXT version and full instructions for using this to make your own audiobook. To find these click on the PDF, HTML or TXT links on the left.
These transcriptions of books by various nineteenth century authors of instructive books for teenagers, were made during the period 1997 to the present day by Athelstane e-Books. Most of the books are concerned with the sea, but in any case all will give a good idea of life in the nineteenth century, and sometimes earlier than that. This of course includes attitudes prevalent at the time, but frowned upon nowadays.
We used a Hewlett-Packard scanner, a Plustek OpticBook 3600 scanner or a Nikkon Coolpix 5700 camera to scan the pages. We then made a pdf which we used to assist with editing the OCRed text.
To make a text version we used TextBridge Pro 98 or ABBYY Finereader 7 or 8 to produce a first draft of the text, and Athelstane software to find misreads and improve the text. We proof-read the chapters, and then made a CD with the book read aloud by either Fonix ISpeak or TextAloud MP3. The last step enables us to hear and correct most of the errors that may have been missed by the other steps, as well as entertaining us during the work of transcription.
The resulting text can be read either here at the Internet Archive or at www.athelstane.co.uk
The PDF version is constructed from 300 dpi scans. To get best value set "Use Logical Page Numbers" to "ON" in Edit/Preferences/Page Display of your PDF viewer. To obtain the HTML file find the area on the left of this page which has PDF, HTML and TXT in it, and click on HTML. In this version the entire book appears in the one file, which also includes the style-sheet and any pictures, and is written in xhtml. The larger of the two TXT files is what you need to create an audiobook, using for instance Text Aloud MP3. The smaller of the two TXT files contains full instructions for doing so.
Subject: Rayat London College
Rayat London College
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